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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

170                                        COEEUPTIOH OF BtBDHISSC,
However, Buddhism. Itself, though originally a -system of abstracdons
and negations, was not long before it assumed a concrete development.
In one of its schools, which from the indecency of many of the figures
that have been discovered would seem to have been very popular at Ma-
thura, debauchery of the most degrading description was positively Inculcat*-
ed as the surest means for attaining perfection.   The aathor-ity for these
abominable doctrines, which, in the absence of literary proof might hav®
been considered an impossible outcome of such teaching as that of Sakya
Muni, is a Sanskrit composition called Tatkdgata Guhyaka, or Gulu/a eama>-
gk®,   & the collection of secrets? * of which the first published notice Is that
given by Dr. Kajendra Lala Mittra In the introduction to his edition of
the Italita Vistara.   He describes It as having all the characteristics of the
worst specimens of the Hindu Tantras.    The professed object, In either case,
is devotion of the highest kind—absolute and unconditional—at the sacrifice
of all worldly attachments, wishes, and aspirations ; but in working it out
theories are indulged in and practices enjoined, which are at once the most
revolting and horrible that human depravity could Imagine.   A shroud of
mystery alone seems to prevent their true character from being seen ; but
divested of it, works of this description would deserve to be burnt by the cora»-
mon hangman.    Looking at them philosophically, the great wonder Is that a
system of religion, so pure and so lofty In its aspirations as Buddhism, could
be made to ally itself with such pestilent dogmas and practices.   Perfection is
described as attainable not by austerity, privations and painful rigorous obser-
vances, but by the enjoyment of all the pleasures of the world, some of which
are described with a minuteness of detail which Is simply revolting.    The
figures of nude dancing-girls In lascivious attitudes with other obscene repre-
sentations, that occur on many of the Buddhist pillars in the museum, are
clear Indications of the popularity which this corrupt system had acquired in
the neighbourhood.   The two figures of female monsters, each with a child la
Its lap, which it is preparing to tear in pieces and devour, are in all probabi-
lity to be referred to the same school : though they appear also In the Hindu
Tantras and under the same name, that of Dakini.    In the oldest sculptures the
figures are all decently draped, and it has been the custom lo regard them
only as Buddhist, mud all the nude or otherwise objectionable representations
ag Jaini    But  this Is an error arising out of the popular Hindu prejudice
against what they call In reproach * the worship of the naked gods.*   The out
cry is simply an Interested, one and has no foundation In fact : for though
many Hindu temples, especially In Bengal, are disfigured by horrible obscenities,